Who would have thought to go ‘essential shopping’ would bring out emotions, anxieties, and feelings of utter dread…
I had not been shopping or even out of the house properly since March so this was a big deal in my mind. I was panicking inside last night, thinking, where am I going to park? What if it was busy? What if I had to queue? What if I get it wrong? Why though? I had the ‘essential equipment’, a mask and gloves and I had seen my husband do it a million times during the past few months and he had returned safely with all the essentials and more… however, this wasn’t only about anxious ‘ifs’ of possibility it was the ‘whats’ of not knowing!!! Together invoked trembling anxiety through my nervous system.
So, I parked up and the feeling of dread came over me, again. What now? I need to get a trolley. What if they have not been wiped? Will there be a queue? What if my mask and gloves are not enough and what if someone coughs? I haven’t been ‘fit-tested’. I was shaking inside.
I struggled to breathe in my mask and my glasses where constantly steamed up that did not help this feeling of anxiety. I was trying to read the shopping list through the blur of the racing thoughts in my head. Oh goodness, what if I forgot something? Could I go back down that aisle? Is he or she 2m away? How far is 2 meters? Sheer terror!!!!
I made it out and sat in the car and wondered how I had turned this what used to be a simple easy to do task into such an intense bucket of emotions. I felt I had let myself down. I tried to work out why my mind and body had reacted in such a way. Doing this the more I discovered I was living in the place of ‘what if’s…
I was ok. I did it. Although, I came out with only half the items on the list and said that was sheer hell. With the request of: please do not ask me to do that again. It makes you think how much has changed to everyday life over such a short period and what effect it is having on individuals never mind a nation or the world.
I do not want to leave on a melancholy note. I will shop again! It will be ok! However, it was a wake-up call of how mentally terrifying the changes in the world outside of my locked-down house can be. This still seems negative, however, I know that the more I push myself, the more normal this new world will become and the more confident I will be in it. Here’s to the next ‘essential shopping trip’.